A proposed amendment to the Senate’s medical marijuana implementing could limit the number of retail facilities allowed to dispense medical marijuana.
Sen. Frank Artiles filed an amendment to the Senate proposal (SB 406) Monday that appears to place a cap on the number of retail facilities from which medical marijuana treatment centers can dispense medical marijuana.
According to the amendment, medical marijuana treatment centers “may not dispense marijuana from more than 3 retail facilities.” The amendment does not limit “MMTC facilities that only dispense low-THC cannabis and sell marijuana delivery devices to qualified patients.”
There are currently seven dispensing organizations — similar to a medical marijuana treatment centers under the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment — authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana in Florida. But a bill set to be discussed during the Senate’s Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee meeting could open the door to new licenses as soon as October.
Under the bill sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, the state would be required to add five additional medical marijuana treatment centers — at least of which must be a black farmer — by Oct. 3, 2017.
It then calls on the state to register four more medical marijuana treatment centers within “six months after each instance of the registration of 75,000 qualifying patients with the compassionate use registry” if a sufficient number of applicants meet the registration requirements.
A second amendment by Artiles would require the state to issue of the four remaining licenses to a “veteran business enterprise.” That amendment also calls on the state to “grant preferential and bonus scoring criteria for applicants that, at the time of the initial application, are veteran business enterprises … which meet the requirements to be awarded and registered as an MMTC.”
Senate records show Sen. Bobby Powell has filed an amendment meant to encourage minority participation in the in MMTC operations and subcontracting.
Bradley’s bill is scheduled to be discussed during the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee meeting at 4 p.m.
The House Appropriations Committee is set to discuss its version of the medical marijuana implementing bill (HB 1397) during its meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.